The habit of reading might seem easy to be maintained. But truly, it isn’t entirely so. The intensity of the ritual is at its peak during childhood, which stays afloat as a plateau well through the adolescent years and up to the early twenties. Those who take up language for their college continue to nurture the resplendent bond with books, where as for others the habit mostly takes a back seat till the time arrives when they are settled, not necessarily with a family, but as more often is the case, with a stable job. I don’t state that this judgement of mine is absolute, yet somehow or the other this holds true for me. Being in a profession, in which one takes an average for ten years for the ground knowledge to be laid, I can say that doctors consider themselves settled past thirty years of age. One round of studies is followed by another, to be topped up with examinations of all sorts, which tend to extract the sap of creativity out of you. To maintain a balance is extremely difficult, unless you are extraordinarily talented. Sure, we do have immensely talented gems amongst us and the Intermedicos fest that we celebrate each year showcases splendour and brilliance. But mostly, the display of the creativity they possess is limited to that, may be not for all, but at least for a good many. I along with my friends used to read a lot of fiction during our college years, but for me, the habit turned lacklustre somewhere down the lane.
Now that I am on hibernation, having completed one stage of my higher studies, I am on the process of reviving the habit. I know that I might have to let go off the same when I embark on yet another of those trysts with my syllabus books, but for the time being, I am being positive as I look forward to sink in my passion for books yet again.
Let me narrate one snippet that sparked these thoughts in me today. I was awaiting something with a doctor friend of mine yesterday morning. The boredom was starting to take a toll on us and that was when I remembered that I had that day’s The Hindu newspaper in my bag. Casually, I asked my friend whether she would like to go through the same and she accepted right away. ‘It has been so long since I read a newspaper’, she remarked while taking the bundle from me. Care to guess what happened next? She read the whole newspaper in one go, being immersed in it for almost one hour, much to my wonder. I felt so happy seeing her have a good time in the company of words. I felt proud of myself for rekindling in her an old habit. Whether she would take a hint and continue the practice is yet to be sought, still, the incident left indelible imprints of joy in me.
I was reminded of all those incredible books in whose company I spent my childhood and teen years. In a way, they made me the person I am today. Quite a serendipity that just when my mind was reminiscing in my journey so far with books, I stumbled up on this page on twitter BlogChatter, where they have this week’s prompt which goes by ‘Books That Made You’. I have so much to write about the prompt, I knew it right then.
Moving forward to the part where I talk on the prompt, I have categorised the books under two main sections- Indian English and the rest. This decision sprouted from the fact that innumerable books happened to prance up on me the moment I thought about the prompt and to select a few out of them seemed the hardest thing to do. So, here it goes. The books that made me would be, in no particular order:
- Misery by Stephen King
- A Fraction of the whole by Steve Toltz
- Famous Five Series by Enid Blyton
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
- Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.
Indian English Fiction:
- Choker Bali by Rabindranath Tagore
- The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh
- Vanity Bagh by Anees Salim
- The God of Small Things by Arundhathi Roy
- The Immortals by Amit Chaudhari
The titles of the books are linked to their Goodreads page so that you might find it easy if tempted to check out the books.
To end the list there simply seems not right, for, truth be told, there are other books too which touched my heart with nearly the same intensity as the aforesaid. To name a few, they are:
- The Shining, Carrie, The Girl who loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
- Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
- The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes
- Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
- Serious men by Manu Joseph
- Narcopolis by Jeet Thayyil
- The Detective by Arthur Hailey
- Countless books authored by Agatha Christie that I have had the privilege to read.
- Freedom Song by Amit Chaudhari
- Disgrace by J.M.Coetzee
The fact that I remember the titles of some of these books to this moment and the effect they had on me when I read them at least a decade back prove much the power a good book owns. I owe a major part of my growth to the precious thoughts of those writers who I admire and for that, I admit, I shall be indebted forever. I hope the roots of the nutritious plant the years of reading so diligently immersed in me would never ever wither away. Instead, may fresh seeds be sowed. May new plants be born. May they branch out wide and far. I would consider myself complete then and only then.
P.S: This post is tagged with ‘Mid Week Quests’, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .
P.P.S: Happy reading and a Merry Christmas in advance!